A Dozen Good Eggs

Monday, September 30, 2013


Cody is my first born son, the child that made me the thing I always wanted to be. A Mama. He is 19 now and in college at local community college. He did not enjoy high school but is very much enjoying college. He still lives at home with us. He is a great help. He has a special bond with Sophie. They are the bookends. He the oldest, she the youngest. She has him wrapped right around her little finger. He is a good kid who knows a lot of stuff. You would never know how much he knows though, because he keeps his cards close to his chest and doesn't talk a lot with people outside the family. He does talk freely with us. He teaches me new stuff all the time. He loves his grandma and takes the bus to her house every week to stay overnight and help her with anything she and grandpa can't do. He is quiet and doesn't put himself out there. He doesn't like crowds. but he seems happy.  he has no desire to drive. This means we have to deliver him wherever he goes. We live too far in the country for him to catch a bus from here.  He is funny and he is a tease like his grandfather. He is very loving and always has a hug for his Mama. He stands a foot and a half taller than me. I remember when he was a bit over 5 pounds. and now he is 6 feet tall. He is an amazing guy. I love him dearly.

Monday, September 23, 2013


My sweet adorable benny  boy. Ben is 9almost  10. He has physical challenges like club feet and arthrogryposis. He requires multiple trips to Philadelphia a year to visit his doctor. He is very loving and sweet. He loves his Mama and is the last of the children who still hug Mama's leg. When someone is scaring him he will hug my leg and hide behind me. Melts my heart every time. Ben is also a very sensitive little boy. He is often moved to tears over something someone said that really wasn't a big deal. but to him it was. He shares a room with Andre and they don't sleep. After a particularly bad night, his regularly low ability to cope with life and the problems that arise becomes nearly nonexistent. bunchy socks is enough to set him over the edge.  A stern look, a request to do something difficult will have him in a puddle of tears. It is so sad and hurts my heart that he is so vulnerable. At the same time it is frustrating on my part to have to solve/help him solve every single conflict. He tells me he is never going to move away from me. He has recently been obsessed with death. Not in a disturbing way like thinking its interesting, but more like a young child grappling with his own mortality. He will often cry and worry about being away from me when one of us dies. This boy has such a soft spot in my heart. He may well never move out. He may live with us forever. He is so innocent. but I adore him and he has the cutest squishiest cheeks that I love to kiss. He came to us at age 5. even now at age 10 he functions at about 4-5 year old. I only wanted perfect kids at first when I planned our adoptions. Ben is nowhere near perfect, we knew that from the moment we committed to him. I cant imagine life without my sweet Bean.  He has a hard time learning, but teaches me every day. teaches me patience, unlimited love and devotion, persistence. Remember those pins that said my heart belongs to _____? My heart belongs to Ben. forever and ever he is my boy.  He is in third grade this year. He loves going to school, and even though its hard he tries and is making progress. Last year a boy picked on him. he turned that boy into his best friend. That's my Ben. No one meets him without walking away in love.

Friday, September 20, 2013


Natasha is 11 now. Home 3 years but it feels like forever. She is such a wonderful loving beautiful intuitive daughter. If I could be assured all kids would be like her I would adopt a million times. She is very sweet and caring, but not saccharine or artificially so. She loves hugs and kisses and is the only one of the bunch(even birth kids) that talks about how we (mom and dad) have a certain smell that is comforting to her. Infants know their mother by smell. I find it interesting that Natasha notices that at such a late age.  I guess she, like me, has a very sensitive nose. She is helpful and always makes sure things are tidy when I return from having gone away.  She is a hard worker and does well at school. She is very smart and notices everything. We call her eagle eyes. Her language is ever expanding and sometimes she makes funny mistakes but she isn't afraid to try out new words. If this girl doesn't go on to do something awesome, I will have failed completely.  She is approaching puberty and can be a bit moody, and holding a grudge is a long held pastime. She is a born leader. She loves to be in charge, yet gets shy and blushes when she has to speak in front of her class. She is a helper to the bus driver on the school bus. She sometimes gets herself in a snit over some jealousy or someone who wronged her but she can most of the time be persuaded to share with me so I can help her. She also loves playing the piano and is very excited to start piano lessons.  She is really a great kid. of all my kids, she gives me the least grief. She is really sensitive to my feelings and observant of my actions. If I am upset she knows it, even if I have done my best to keep it to myself. She loves animals and will often try to save animals she finds. She wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up, but sometimes she forgets the word and says she wants to be a vegetarian.  Really, if people thought they might get a kid like Natasha, adopted at age 8, people would flock to older child adoptions. She has been through some hellish experiences in her short life. She wont let it bring her down though. She rarely talks of the nastiness of her life in her birth family.  She loves when we talk about our memories of her in Ukraine. We played HUNDREDS of games of UNO in Ukraine, but oddly enough don't play it that much at home. so many other things to do I guess. She is a great reader and can put away an entire chapter book in an afternoon. She is awesome. She is mine. I am so glad to have her. Every day with her is a reward for me for some unknown thing I have done. She is that much of a fun kid, good kid, nice kid, smart kid. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A new leaf

Ethan has been a difficult child all of his life. We have tried various medications. Multiple meltdowns in nearly any situation, even the most mundane,like getting dressed became war. After a trip to a psychiatrist and a change to a different class of drugs I am happy to report he is a new boy. he still has meltdowns and he still has bad days but his good moments outshine those and outnumber them. The tone of our house is changing. Its lighter now. We can breath a bit easier. Life is by no means perfect, but it feels so much more doable. All the children are back in school. They are enjoying their new teachers. I am not enjoying having to do spelling words every day and enforce reading time when they really just want to play. Three are in the middle school this year and enjoying that big change and making new friends. One is in the high school so I have three schools and three busses to deal with. That's going fine. So far we have not had very many bus issues. We got a new bus driver on the special ed bus. He seems nice enough, friendlier than the one we had at the beginning of the year. The driver we have had for two years on that bus retired this year. I have finished our Philly trips for a few months. I have put off even calling for the next appointment. I am so worn out and tired of traveling. I love to travel for fun but Philly trips are more stress than fun. They need to return for follow up, no big deals in the works at the moment. Next summer I sure would like to stay home. Last summer I was there with Sophie, This summer I was there with Ben. NEXT SUMMER I WANT TO BE HERE! Pat keeps sending me lovely cards and post cards. they sure are a special surprise that makes me smile when they arrive. Thanks Pat. Eric and I have been learning all we can about Aquaponics. He built a small system in the basement and we are growing lettuce there. It is a really neat process. We have been to visit a few other aquaponics systems owned by others. Its been educational for sure. Now if our Tilapia would just spawn! With doctor appointments, therapy appointments, phone calls, errands, bill paying, shopping, chicken food buying, chicken feeding, dinner cooking, dishes doing, laundry doing, and homework helping I am keeping very busy. Sometimes more than I want to be but I love most every minute of it. Yes, Pollyanna has her own new medication as well. and a new attitude. Every day I get up saying, its going to be a good day. it usually is. If I can find positives and not get upset with the kids, its a good day. Setting myself up to have a good day helps me to do that. The kids are all really doing great. Most of the issues we deal with now are just "kid issues" but we deal with it times 8-10 kids. That can get frustrating sometimes. We just remind ourselves that this is kid stuff. We took them all out to dinner last week at Chinese buffet. We had so much fun together. I love my family!! and I am loving being able to love them. You wouldn't think taking 10 kids out to dinner would be fun, but I can't wait to do it again. I don't find as much time to get on the computer and often post to facebook from my phone. I will try to update this blog more often. Life with FAS, Arthrogryposis, various medical issues can be so much work. but if I can record some of the fun stuff here, as well as the struggles we might encourage someone else. if not, its good to be able to speak your mind somewhere. This is my forum for that.